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2013 Poster Contest

‘Thank Clayton! Thank Greenways!’ by Don W. Stephenson of Clayton was winner of the 2013 Poster Contest

Stephenson wins 2013 Poster Contest

Don W. Stephenson, a 26-year resident of Clayton who has been drawing since before he entered the first grade, has won the 2013 Clayton Poster Contest award of $1,000.

His winning entry was “Thank Clayton! Thank Greenways!” It is a watercolor painting, 18 x 24 inches, and was one of 12 entries.

The award from Clayton Visual Arts, Inc., was presented June 6 at a meet-the-artists reception at the Clayton Center honoring the 10 artists who entered the competition. Councilman Butch Lawter made the presentation.

All works are being exhibited at the Clayton Center during the month of June. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Other contest entrants were Lisa Bailey, Amy T. Beshgetoorian, Nancy Guss, Carolyn Howard, Kathleen Nobles, Tamara Smallwood and Jim Whitfield, all of Clayton; Maria Baluis of Garner and Jo Lee Tucker of Four Oaks. Media ranged from watercolor to acrylic, pastel and oil.

Judges were members of the Clayton Town Council and the Town administration: Mayor Jody McLeod, Mayor Pro Tem Michael Grannis, Councilmen Art Holder, Bob Satterfield, and Jason Thompson, Town Manager Steve Biggs, Clayton Center Executive Director Scotty Henley and Clayton Cultural Arts Foundation Chairman Lyn Austin.

Stephenson’s “Thank Clayton! Thank Greenways!” will be given to the Town of Clayton by Clayton Visual Arts. It will join seven other paintings of Clayton scenes donated to the town by the group since 1999, the first being the “Old Clayton Water Tower” by Kizlena Ray.

Clayton Visual Arts will have full-color, full-size prints and small postal notecards made, which will be sold as a fundraiser for the group.

Of Stephenson’s art, he said, “My goal is to create original works that reflect my love of the natural world. My work is representational, but I don’t strive for photographic realism.”

“My greatest objective is capturing in paint my inner feelings for beauty in all its forms.”

Stephenson, a native of Johnston County, graduated from Four Oaks High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology and a master’s degree in zoology from N.C. State University. He recently retired from Johnston Community College after 26 years as a biology instructor.

Previous winner, “Flipside” by Janie Prete, from 2011

Previous winning subjects have included the Old Clayton Water Tower (no longer standing) by Kizlena Ray, 1999; The Town Shoppe by Jo Johnson, 2000; Robertson Mule Barn by Kizlena Ray, 2001; Lee’s Corner by Jo Johnson, 2002; the Woman’s Club House by Doug Strickland, 2007; Entrance to Historic Clayton by Dan Lee, 2009; and Flipside by Janie Prete, 2011.

All seven winning posters were given to the Town of Clayton by Clayton Visual Arts and are on display in the Town Hall section of The Clayton Center.

1999 winner “Old Clayton Water Tower” by Kizlena Ray

The 2013 prize includes purchase of the poster for the Town of Clayton and purchase of all rights to make and sell art prints of the work to support Clayton Visual Arts’ programs.

Clayton Visual Arts, Inc., founded in 1999, is a nonprofit, 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to “bringing art to Clayton.”

Its members are artists and art lovers, all volunteers from the community. Membership is $20 per year, and anyone may join.

The organization is funded in part by the Town of Clayton Cultural Arts Fund, the Johnston County Arts Council, the Johnston County Visitors’ Bureau and individual donors.


2002 winner “Lee’s Corner” by Jo Johnson

2007 winner “Woman’s Club House” by Doug Strickland

Clayton Senior Center art on display

Also on display during June was student art from the Clayton Senior Center.

Exhibiting artists are Mary Appel, Martha Avila, Marcella Brannan, Fay Dease, Marguerite Di Giovanni, Grecia Edwards, Janet Eisler, Faten Elgharini, Isaiah Goodson, Nancy Guss, Elaine Hall, Mary Ann Macario, Roberta Myers, Mary Perdue, Madeline Scovitch, Peggy Smith, and Daphne (no last name given).

Members of Clayton Visual Arts, Inc., have been visiting and teaching at the Senior Center every month for three years. The classes represent an ongoing outreach program that provides involvement and teaching of the visual arts to members of the Clayton community.